The tower defense genre has yet to be fully exploited in virtual reality.
It’s a curious omission, given the Oculus Rift’s ability to let the player lean in and around to get a better look at the environment below them. Thankfully, Korix is here to fill that hole; a real-time strategy game with tower defence elements that’s fun, addictive and a very welcome additional to the Rift library.
Load the game and you’ll find yourself in a 3D menu with options for playing the tutorial, selecting a level or customizing the game. Load the tutorial and you’ll find yourself sitting in a fixed position over a miniature world of blue blocks. To the left is the enemy camp, while to the right is your home base. You’ll notice a vivid blue pool nearby. This is the games resource node, and you’ll need to send workers out to gather energy points from it to progress through the game. It’s best to work quickly, however, because seconds after the match begins the enemy base starts pumping out soldiers in your direction.
Fending off enemy troops is key to succeeding in Korix, and to do this you’ll need to line the landscape with walls manned with turrets. As with all great tower defence games you can build “corridors” to funnel enemy troops down a fixed route, helping to give yourself extra time to collect resources and build an army. Turrets will need to be upgraded over time, however, as enemy troops quickly increase in number and can destroy towers and turrets with passing fire. Before you know it Korix has quickly turned into a fast-paced and highly-tactical game, so you’ll need to work frantically to build, gather and repel. In-game weapons include turrets, missile launches and a match-winning nuke (although you’ll need to gather a massive 2,000 points to purchase it), while it’s also possible to send out troops and tanks to attack the enemy base. This is classic strategy gaming at its best, and it makes for a fun experience that causes time to pass-by in the blink of an eye.
Thankfully the in-game controls are easy to master, even though nearly every button on the controller is mapped to a function. Using the d-pad you can cycle through building resources or upgrade/delete items, while holding down the B button whilst looking at the enemy base instructs all turrets and missile launches to open fire (if they’re within reach). Using the shoulder buttons it’s also possible to rotate the camera, which certainly helps to place objects on the later levels which are large in size.
Graphically Korix is a simple but effective game. Polygons lack textures, giving the game a “Tron”-like feel, while the battlefield is table-sized, enabling you to lean in using positional-tracking to look over walls and obstacles. Text and in-game user interface elements are rendered close to the eyes, creating a vivid 3D effect that’s likely to cause strain; but once you’re accustomed to the large depth of field you’ll find it easy to focus on either the in-game world of the overlay text.
With support for positional-tracking and a buttery smooth frame rate, Korix is a comfortable experience that really “pops” on the Oculus Rift display. Being able to lean around the battlefield for a closer look at your troops and resources really helps to improve the gameplay experience, while the dark Tron-like setting helps to immerse you in the virtual world ahead.
Priced $7.99, this is an affordable game that you’re likely to play multiple times. More levels and environment variation would be welcome (only 8 are included in the current release), but the developers at Stella VR are promising more to come along with an additional skirmish mode. You can buy Korix from it’s official website here, and also download a free demo from The Rift Arcade Downloads that includes the first 4 levels is also available.
Classic strategy gaming mixed with tower defence gameplay makes Korix an essential Oculus Rift game. More levels and environments would be welcome, but with plenty of weapon variation you'll find lots to enjoy here.
- Addictive gameplay
- Comfortable VR experience
- Limited number of levels
- Larger levels can be difficult to manage
Ratings in depth
Oculus Rift Experience